A man colorfully described by the Washington Post as a “South Florida polo mogul” was convicted on charges of DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide this week after a fatal drunk driving crash that occurred two years ago.
A jury in Palm Beach County convicted 48-year-old John Goodman on both of the felony charges, which were raised in response to the death of 23-year-old Scott Wilson, according to a report from the Washington Post.
Sources say that, two years, ago, an inebriated Goodman sped through a stop sign and slammed his Bentley into Wilson’s car, which caused Wilson to roll into a canal, where the victim eventually died.
Shockingly, Goodman reportedly fled from the scene and waited roughly an hour before calling 911 to report the incident. At the time of the accident, sources say that Goodman’s blood alcohol level was measured at .177, which is more than twice the legal limit.
Despite the negative verdict, Goodman’s DUI attorney, Roy Black, said that he and his client plan to appeal the decision, though he did not offer any concrete examples of the portions of the trial the two would be challenging.
Nevertheless, in Black’s words, “multiple errors were committed during and before the trial that, in effect, denied our client’s ability to get a fair trial. We intend to file an appeal so that our client can receive the just and fair proceeding to which he is entitled by law.”
Of course, the prosecutors in the case feel differently. According to State Attorney Peter Antonacci, “the jury in the Goodman case exercised sound judgment in its analysis of the factual and expert evidence in this trial.”
In addition, Antonacci observed that “Scott Wilson was a young man with a bright future, and his life was tragically cut short. I hope that Scott’s family now experiences some closure so that the healing process can go forward in this particularly tragic event.”
The Goodman trial has captured the attention of many legal observers in Florida due to the shocking nature of the accident, and the relative wealth of the accused man.
Goodman is the founder and owner of the International Polo Club in Palm Beach, and, as evidence by the use of his Bentley on that fateful night, has plenty of cash to burn.
Now, thanks to one very, very poor decision, Goodman faces the potential of spending the next 30 years in prison. Sources do not suggest whether the judge is leaning towards a lighter sentence, but this will be determined at the sentencing hearing on April 30.